Written by Nicole Oveisi, Fair Farms Intern
Fair Farms reached out to Christina Taylor, owner of Radical Herbs in Baltimore, MD to discuss herbal medicine and tips for those interested in growing or trying herbs. Christina’s main goal with Radical Herbs has been to inform people on the abundance of medicinal benefits that natural herbs can provide, empowering people to take back their health.
What’s a good starter herb?
Two good starter herbs for beginners are Lemon Balm and Tulsi (also known as Holy Basil). They grow easily and taste good. Grow them on your balcony or in your backyard, and during winter months, bring them inside where it’s sunny. These herbs are extremely safe and aren’t likely to interfere with most medications, though it is important that you always check with a healthcare provider to be sure.
Note: Tulsi can dry up breast milk.*
What herbs are good for growing in small or urban spaces?
Chamomile, Tulsi, and California Poppy are great for small spaces. Chamomile can be harvested all summer long and has relaxing and calming properties. Tulsi helps with managing stress and can help the body find a better balance when it’s feeling depressed or slow. California Poppy grows abundantly and the flowers, leaves, and roots can all be harvested. It helps with sleep and assists the nervous system.
How much plant material is needed to make a cup of tea?
Only a handful of herbs is needed to make a great tea. Tea can be made with hot water or can be made overnight for a cold refreshment in the summertime!
What herbs/plants help build soil health?
Herbs and plants that promote soil health are also known as cover crops. Plants that put calcium back into the soil can help with soil conditions. For example, planting clover or oats that grow into oatstraw can provide the soil with needed minerals. Most weeds growing are also good for the soil and can be planted purposefully to build soil health.
What is one thing you would like to tell our Fair Farms followers?
“If anyone is curious about how herbs fit into their lineage, look it up. Herbal medicine comes from the people of the land and going back and seeing what people used to do with it could create a deeper connection to your path with herbs.”
What do you encourage people to do to make change?
“Just start simple. If it feels daunting, go buy a box of tea. You don’t have to be this ‘Earth person’ who grows all their own plants. Even if you are at Starbucks, ask for Chamomile instead of coffee. Get it from wherever–there’s no shame in it. You don’t suddenly have to have a remedy for everything. Just give herbs a chance!”
Thank you Christina for offering your advice and sharing these tips with our readers! If you are interested in learning more about Radical Herbs, check out the website here!